rsz_charlotte_roundtableOn Feb. 24, the New Americans Campaign and New America Media hosted an ethnic media roundtable in Charlotte to discuss naturalization for North Carolina’s nearly 136,000 citizenship-eligible lawful permanent residents. The discussion focused on the differences between applying for a green card and applying for citizenship. Participants repeatedly said applying for citizenship was easier than they anticipated.

Representatives from local Campaign partners Catholic Charities Diocese of CharlotteSoutheast Asian Coalition and Latin American Coalition spoke at the roundtable. Newly naturalized citizens also spoke about their experience with the citizenship process.

The event was attended by New Americans Campaign partners and clients, as well as mainstream and ethnic media, including nine journalists from local media outlets. Attendees talked about the role of ethnic media in amplifying the importance of citizenship and the stories of these newly naturalized citizens.

Henry Murillo, a recently naturalized U.S. citizen from Colombia, said he learned about free legal services offered by New Americans Campaign partners through a Spanish-language newspaper in Charlotte.

“I didn’t know about this kind of program and service. I didn’t know that you could actually apply with a fee waiver,” said Murillo. He lived in the U.S. for more than 20 years before applying for citizenship and naturalizing in 2015.

Murillo expected the application process to be more difficult.

For more on the roundtable see coverage from New America Media.